Mark L. Johnson
TA Tidbits #10-Summer Wrap-up
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Tortolita Preserve Wash-Sunrise-9/6/20
Hiked the Tortolita Preserve-Highland Loop early this morning (5:30 AM start). Although 87 degrees, there was plenty of activity. I ran into trail runners, mountain bikers, hikers, great horned owl, harris hawk, jack rabbits, long-nosed snake (having breakfast), barrel cactus in bloom, plenty of birds and 8 cows (more on that later). See photo collage at the end (caution: snake photo may be unsettling to some).
Here are the latest tidbits:
Tortolita Alliance (TA) Board Meeting-9/3/20
The TA Board met on 9/3/20. See Agenda. Highlights below:
TA July Financial Statement-in the black $1,674 with about $1,100 of expenses remaining in 2020.
TA Fundraiser brought in $3,095 through the end of July. Next fundraiser-Spring 2021.
Jackie Craig elected to Marana Town Council and Make Marana 2040 General Plan ratified.
TA Website reorganized. Wildfire updates popular.
TA tee shirts sales good with extras available. Two sizes of free TA stickers available. Eventually two types of TA logo hats will be offered.
Other agenda items are discussed below.
Tortolita Preserve Partners Update
TA Partners includes TA, Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR), Marana PD, Southern Arizona Trailriders, Tucson Rough Riders and Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists. TP Partners primary mission is to solve the unauthorized access of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) and cattle in the Tortolita Preserve. See Minutes from 8/27/20 meeting. The top priority is to install fencing along the western perimeter of the TP which is currently not fenced.
We also learned about the Great American Outdoors Act signed by President Trump on 8/4/20, which will fund much needed improvements to our national parks and other parks. See Fact Sheet.
See cattle damage to Englemann's Prickley Pear (below) seen this morning in the Tortolita Preserve Highlands loop (top 2 photos). New "Motorized Vehicles Prohibited" at the Del Webb Dove Mountain sewer easement at Rim Trail (bottom photo).
Tortolita Mountain Fires
The dry summer and dry lightning resulted in four fires in the Tortolita Mountains:
Tortolita Fire-3,140 acres-100% contained on 6/11/20
Westridge Fire-480 acres-100% contained on 8/23/20
Dove Fire-942 acres-100% contained on 8/31/20
Edwin Fire-137 acres-100% contained on 8/31/20
Thanks to Arizona Forestry and Fire Management and Northwest Fire for getting these fires contained so quickly!
La Puerta Del Norte
TA provided comment on this proposed annexation/development at the 7/14, 8/18 and 9/1 Marana Town Council meetings. TA has submitted a Comment Letter to the Pima County District 3 Board of Adjustment meeting on 9/10/20 and will make verbal comment. This annexation/development is located adjacent to the El Rio Preserve in an area of sensitive cultural and environmental concern. The project is also being proposed prior to three critical master plans required in the Make Marana 2040 General Plan along with several other issues identified
Dove Mountain Blvd
Marana Development Services reports that the final plat for the Saguaro Reserve I subdivision at the west end of Dove Mountain Blvd has not been received. The final plat may remove the proposed cut de sac and extend Dove Mountain Blvd to the property line with the State of Arizona Land. This would allow a potential future extension of Dove Mountain Blvd to the I-10. Perhaps this could be just an emergency fire road?
Reminder, TA is sponsoring a presentation entitled Investing In Transportation to Meet Your Needs. Mindy Blake, Outreach Coordinator for the Pima Association of Governments, will be our presenter.
Learn about the Pima Association of Governments (PAG), Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), regional transportation project planning and how you can participate.
This is a Zoom presentation. Go to the TA Website Events tab to sign up. Limited to the first 100 that RSVP. Your attendance confirmation email will include the Zoom instructions in the "Learn More Information About This Event" link.
Sonoran Desert Tortoise
The Sonoran Desert Tortoise will be considered for endangered species listing. See Arizona Daily Star Article. Sonoran Desert Tortoise have been seen recently on the Cochie Springs Trail and in the Del Webb Dove Mountain subdivision near the Tortolita Preserve.
Dove Mountain Civic Association
The Dove Mountain Civic Group (DMCG) is a non-partisan organization made up of volunteer residents who monitor and inform the community about issues involving government agencies, services, organizations, land developers and other entities whose actions might impact or be of interest to the Dove Mountain Community.
TA is collaborating with DMCG and the DMCG Newsletter will have links to the TA website. TA will also be making a presentation at their 4/15/21 meeting.